So you may be familiar with prefabs made of wood, stone, metal, bricks — we have a number of those covered on this websites — and even foam prefab and modular houses, but now in the everexpanding market of home building materials: cardboard.
The idea here is that a Dutch house designer thought up cardboard houses when he found himself throwing away a lot of cardboard packing tubes, and he thought why not make something out of them. Now, people have been making furniture out of cardboard and other products, like Google’s Cardboard project, but he made a prefab house.
“The fact is that the more you explore cardboard, the more benefits it offers,” according to designer Maarten Heijltjes of Waarmakers. “It solves two of the main problems in building – it is structural and insulating at the same time, while also being light enough to transport inexpensively. Sure, when people hear of a cardboard house, inevitably there’s some scepticism. But it’s a question of perception. Tell them that it’s a house made of wood, but that we’re just using wood fibre in a far more efficient way, and they start to see it makes sense.”
How it works: many layers of cardboard are stacked to make modular panels. Then they mold these modular panels around a house frame.
“First, they make 1.2-metre-deep segments, or modules, constructed from 24 layers of waterproofed, recycled cardboard moulded around a house-shaped frame,” according to 1843 Magazine. “These are then fixed together to make the finished building. Thanks to this system of pre-made sections, each house – starting at around €25,000 and available with elegant plywood interiors, glass doors and even wood burners – can be put together in as little as a single day.” They’re also very light for transportation to a building site.
The interiors are plywood. They add glass doors and wood stoves.
Construction time: 1 day at minimum. Sold so far: 8. They’ve received as many orders for more. They expect the prefab modular houses to last up to 100 years. Cost: right now around 25K Euros (26K U.S.).
“Actually, when you look at it, cardboard is beautiful,” said Heijltjes. “It has a texture and warmth to it.”
Read more about Wicklehouse in our directory of prefab homes.